Court opinions

Offender on parole gets probation revocation reversed

July 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Even though he violated the terms of his probation, an offender should not have been ordered back to jail because at his release Indiana Department of Correction made a mistake and put him on parole.
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COA upholds convictions of man who targeted Burmese

July 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
An Alabama man was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was not behind several attacks on members of the Burmese community in Indianapolis two years ago. The judges affirmed Danny Cherry’s 80-year sentence for various crimes, including attempted murder.
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7th Circuit remands disability benefits denial

July 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found an administrative law judge had improperly cherry picked a man’s medical record and reversed the denial of his disability benefits.
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COA reduces rapist’s sentence by 10 years

July 26, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an offender was successful in asserting the trial court erred in merging his sentences and applying an enhancement, he failed to respond to the state’s arguments for remedy which provided just a 10-year reduction to his 90-year aggregate sentence.
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Man loses appeal over search that led to cocaine charges

July 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man on trial for Class A felony counts of dealing cocaine and conspiracy to deal cocaine lost his appeal Tuesday seeking to suppress evidence found in a search of his car.
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Justices rule State Farm UIM policy ambiguous

July 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
A State Farm auto insurance policy’s language regarding uninsured motorist coverage is ambiguous, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, affirming a Lake Superior trial court’s denial of the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a personal injury case.
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Man’s resisting conviction after domestic violence call reversed

July 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
Police responding to a domestic violence call weren’t legally exercising their duties when they entered the alleged perpetrator’s house without his consent, used a Taser on him and charged him with resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Farmers win reversal in drainage appeal against town

July 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
Montgomery County farmers who claimed work done by a town to improve its stormwater drainage ruined their acreage won reversal Monday of a trial court ruling against them.
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Elkhart teacher loses age-discrimination appeal

July 25, 2016
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected an appeal of an Elkhart teacher who claimed the school system discriminated against her on the basis of her race and age in denying her 12 different promotions over a span of eight years.
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COA admonishes prosecutor’s misconduct, doesn’t reverse conviction

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor’s suggestion to the jury during an attempted rape trial that a defense attorney influenced a witness was misconduct, but not sufficient to warrant reversal of the defendant’s conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the court also called out the prosecutor and warned him.
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Reversal: HHGregg prevails in appeal over managers’ bonuses

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
HHGregg senior managers are not entitled to share in $40 million in life insurance proceeds from the 2012 death of executive chairman of the board Jerry Throgmartin, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, reversing a trial court ruling in the managers’ favor.
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Wal-Mart shoplifter’s resisting conviction affirmed

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who fled from police and later was arrested after he and another man had been spotted allegedly shoplifting from a Lafayette Wal-Mart store was properly convicted of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA tosses feticide conviction, says statute doesn’t apply to self abortion

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Legislature did not intend for the state’s feticide statute to apply to pregnant women or illegal abortions, including the one a northern Indiana woman executed by taking drugs ordered from Hong Kong, the Court of Appeals held Friday.
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COA upholds mother’s neglect conviction for causing son’s health issues

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, acknowledging differing expert testimony in a mother’s neglect of a dependent case, declined to reweigh the evidence and upheld her Class B felony conviction.
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Appeals court sends request for benefits back to Social Security office

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A federal court in Indianapolis never should have affirmed the denial of Supplemental Security Income sought by an intellectually disabled woman because the administrative law judge’s decision was unsupported by the record, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Justices uphold Jay County teachers’ CBA

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In a 4-1 decision, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the last best offer made by the Jay School Corp. regarding a collective bargaining agreement for the 2013-14 school year. The teachers took issue with a provision involving the salary of teachers hired mid-school year.
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Recommendation of plea document passes ‘duck test’

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Citing the “duck test” credited to Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a “recommendation of plea” document was a plea agreement the trial judge was free to accept or reject.
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Judges affirm grant of senior living facility’s arbitration motion

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although a senior living facility “inexplicably” failed to keep a copy of an arbitration agreement signed by a resident, the facility produced enough extrinsic evidence to conclude an enforceable arbitration agreement exists, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit: Judge should have disqualified herself in sentence challenge

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a federal judge in Indianapolis should have excused herself from hearing a man’s petition regarding his sentence because she was the one who sentenced him while she was a judge in state court. In doing so, the federal appellate court overturned two lines of decisions.
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COA: Woman, not bank, entitled to foreclosure surplus funds

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court misapplied the law regarding disbursement of surplus sale proceedings from a sheriff’s sale when it ordered the full surplus to the bank that owned the first mortgage on the home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. The law requires the surplus to go to the mortgage debtor.
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On rehearing, judges find investigator’s photos admissible

July 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing to a case involving a lawsuit brought by a man injured by a sheriff deputy’s vehicle while he walked along the side of the road. The divided court held certain evidence, including an investigator’s affidavit and photos, are admissible at trial.
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COA: School’s insurance doesn’t cover student who injured teacher

July 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with parts of a trial court’s ruling in an insurance coverage dispute, the judges affirmed the ruling that the insurance policy of a school where a student injured her teacher during class is not the primary insurance in the teacher’s personal injury suit.
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State revenue department bound by 1998 ruling

July 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue should have granted a medical equipment company’s request for a sales tax refund, the Indiana Tax Court ruled, finding the department is bound by its published ruling interpreting the exemption at issue.
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COA affirms propane company must pay customers’ attorney fees

July 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a trial court that a propane company is on the hook for two customers’ attorney fees after it failed to deliver prepaid propane gas under an agreement with the couple.
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Church not entitled to $322,000 on breach of contract claim

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred when it determined that a church was entitled to $322,000 on its breach of contract claim after its building lessor ordered the church to vacate the premises before the end of its contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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